1840 Journal

Meet the artisans, discover their expertise, and share their passion.

Creators

From the earth to the table. 

Building her own path, Trudy Crane chose herself, and art chose her. After a lengthy career working as a fashion marketing executive, she realized she needed a change. “I decided when I was in my 50s that I did not want to do that anymore and I changed my whole life,” she recalls. If becoming a ceramist sounds like a mid-life crisis turnaround, the decision was instinctive and she listened to herself against the pushback. “I had done ceramics my whole life,” explains the artist. “So I did it, and it was the best thing I’ve ever done in my life.”

8 years later, it’s hard to imagine that she has not been doing this forever. Lookslikewhite is based in her Mile-End studio and now employs 5 people. The brand has produced several collaborations and participated in various projects working with different companies. “I just love everything about ceramics. I love the process, I love designing. It’s a very calm and meditative process,” says the founder about her practice. “I find it really beautiful and it’s a process that really connects me to my true self.” Her work is exclusively handbuilt, which instills a slower pace and requires a craftier approach. “The process of handbuilding is more organic in feel,” says Trudy.

“Because I wanted my ceramics to have this feeling of nature, I didn’t want it to be too structured. I want it to feel like handmade, but of course it has to have the durability and the quality of a very solid product.”

The artist finds herself inspired by nature, as well as home decor, especially Scandinavian design. Her pieces lean towards monochromatic palettes, where you may occasionally find black, grey, and very neutral colours that convey a pure, simple feel. “There are so many shades of white, and I love all of them,” declares Trudy. Her materials also influence the direction her art takes. “I really start with the clay. I roll out some slabs and I start to play. A lot comes to me through that process.”

Collections from lookslikewhite are centered around dinnerware and functional pieces. This choice ties in with Trudy’s love for food—she co-wrote the book Saisons: La table végane, in collaboration with her daughter, photographer Chloé Crane-Leroux, and chef Julie Zyromski.

“I’m very attracted to the whole idea of food and the culture of eating—how we eat, what we eat, sustainability, this idea of slow living and eating locally,” the artist tells us. “All these things are very important to me. I really want to contribute to that, to that way of thinking. For me, eating from handmade dishes is something very personal and beautiful. I really believe that when you are eating from handmade dishes you can feel the love that the ceramist has put into each piece. This statement is valid for all other forms of handmade goods.

“We put so much energy and love in our products. All makers do. There’s this dynamic between you and the pieces that you make.”

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